New classification for financial and non-financial holding corporations


The solid cooperation that has existed between the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) and Statistics Netherlands (CBS) for years has now formed the basis for a new step: the setting-up of a joint register for financial and non-financial corporations for observation purposes. By doing so, DNB and CBS expect to further reduce instances of duplication or overlapping in their surveys, as well as highlighting any neglected areas.

This new step brings the existing demarcation between the two groups of companies into line with international statistical guidelines and makes it easier for companies to know which organisation they should report to. In short, the result will be less confusion and increased efficiency, delivering on the ambition of both organisations to provide univocal figures.

Why this change?

In the Netherlands, some multinationals with substantial international financing positions combine a financial character with non-financial production activities. Until now, the share of international items on the balance sheet was often the deciding factor in determining whether such a unit was considered to be financial or non-financial (<75% international items on the balance sheet). We are now abandoning this balance criterion.

This change is based on statistical guidelines, as stated in ESA 2010 (and further elaborated by an international statistical task force on Holdings and Head Offices). DNB and CBS will now apply a new classification in which companies will be categorised by activity, with the number of employees and the type of work they carry out serving as important criteria. The degree of self-determination demonstrated by the companies will also be a relevant factor. The latest guidelines offer greater clarity about the self-determining nature of (groups of) companies at the highest level of a Dutch corporate structure but which play a relatively passive role in terms of activities. This is even the case if these companies are, in effect, managed from abroad.

What does this mean?

In future, financial holding corporations and finance companies that are part of a non-financial parent company will in most cases receive questionnaires from CBS, including company finance and balance of payments.

As a result of the new classification, large financial holding corporations and finance companies at the highest level of the Dutch corporate structure will belong to the subsector ‘captive financial institutions’ and will receive questionnaires from DNB in future, including reports from financial institutions for macro-economic statistics such as national accounts and balance of payments.

In the event of major developments, CBS will consult DNB to coordinate the joint approach with the relevant holding corporations.

Want to get in touch?

If you have any questions on this issue, send us an email at and we will contact you as soon as possible. You can also get in touch with your own CBS contact, if applicable.